Luxembourg joined the space adventure in 1985 through the creation of the Société Européenne des Satellites (SES), a landmark for satellite telecommunications and now a major player in this sector.
This initiative has not only led to the development and growth of SES, but also to the development of an entire space industry in Luxembourg.
The second step in positioning the country in the space sector was Luxembourg’s accession to the European Space Agency (ESA). This membership, preceded by a cooperation agreement on the telecommunications programme of the Agency (ARTES), became effective on 30 June 2005, with Luxembourg becoming the 17th Member State of ESA.
Besides the development of opportunities combined with the technological capabilities of national actors, this membership has confirmed the commitment of the Luxembourg government to promote the Grand Duchy as a hub for innovative projects in advanced technologies.
With this aim, Luxembourg has developed a space policy, whose main objectives are to:
- contribute to the diversification and sustainability of economic activities in Luxembourg,
- consolidate and enhance existing skills in the field of telecommunications and media as well as ground systems,
- extend skills in the sector,
- give an international dimension to the activities through an access to international networks.
Achieving these objectives requires the allocation of financial resources at European and national levels.
Financial resources at European level
Sustained contributions of Luxembourg in ESA programmes for the support to technology development and the development of products, services and space infrastructures in Telecommunications, Earth Observation and Space Situational Awareness.
These budgets allow players in Luxembourg to access the space market that has high specificities and level entrance barriers:
- from a technical point of view due to the high
technical environment of space,
- from a legitimacy point of view: access to
activities is only possible if players are known and
recognised by major established actors in this field.
Financial resources at national level
- Provision of a budget dedicated to national studies with the objective to explore new markets in which Luxembourg players are likely to position themselves (LuxLAUNCH),
- Provision at ESA level of a budget to implement a national space programme (LuxIMPULSE),
- Provision of a budget allowing Luxembourg young graduates to enter the training programme of ESA (LuxYGT),
- Development of bi- or multilateral cooperation with major space actors outside Luxembourg.